Singapore Expats Forum

Help me set expectations in Singapore - and a few Q's

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.


Help me set expectations in Singapore - and a few Q's

Postby jwi71 » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 2:12 am


My wife, who is Indonesian, and I have decided to relocate to Singapore. Why Singapore? I am in IT and I can find a job easier here, rather than Jakarta. She wants to be closer to her family and I enjoyed my extended stay in Singapore several years ago.

My background is solidly in Network Engineering and, more recently, IT Security. I bring several years (eight to be exact) of Banking, Manufacturing, and Service sector experience. Additionally, I expect to complete my MBA by next December. Currently, I have contracted with IBM and I support one of their global business units. I am just shy of 90k in terms of compensation.

Given the crude synopsis above and based solely on generalities, can I expect to find a job in IT (network engineering and/or IT security)? I have been tracking thoses jobs on jobstreet and jobsdb and have noticed a large number of these positions available. I notice that many jobs state that the candidate must be in Singapore. Do they mean work permit or PR or just physically there? This is important as we will be living in Jakarta (in the Ancol house) until I find a job in Singapore. I plan on making several trips back and forth for interviews.

I speak rudimentary Indonesian and have lived abroad in Indonesia and Japan. I have no real need to "be American", I prefer to assimilate into the local culture (not the other way around).

We are looking to move in December or early January at the latest.

Based on that, what should my expectations be? A job in 6 weeks? 3 months? 2 days? Given the basic info I provided, can I see upwards of 10k(Singapore) per month? Too high? Too low (woohoo!)?

I can provide more info if requested. Again, we are definetly moving, I just need some guidance on financial expectations (I need to set a budget).


Posts: 93
Joined: Sat, 27 Mar 2004
Location: Europe

Postby NBB » Sat, 31 Jul 2004 4:14 am


Three hurdles to take:

1. Singapore is not the expat magnet it used to be. Most of those positions you've spotted are being filled by your (much less costly) colleagues from India and the like.

2. Furthermore, its IT segment is no longer the hip hotbed of the 90's. Nowadays Biotech is its industry-du-jour.

3. Finally, the Singapore economy is firing on just 4 cylinders right now, the other 4 are sputtering a little. They're biting more and more as we speak, yes, but there will be some sputtering to come.

That's the bad news.

Having said all that, there are still (MN)Companies hiring western IT folk, especially those not insisting on massive over-the-top packages. So if you're really set to come here, be prepared to lower that salary bar somewhat.

Now, it's been repeated on this board quite a few times that the best way to open doors is to do some serious mingling in IT circles, drop your card left, right and center. Sure, and similar won't hurt. But you only need to meet that one friend of a friend who's looking for a Networking dude and you're sailing.

In any case, it ain't gonna be easy. But that's not stopping me ; I'm starting up my own IT company in Singapore. It's a challange ;-)

Okay, I'm pretty sure some more of our forum regulars will drop by to give you their pearls, so stay tuned.

And good luck to you.


  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests